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Author: Ilona Bray

Ilona Bray is an attorney who gave up the active practice of law to edit and author books and articles for Nolo. Her working background includes both solo immigration practice and working or volunteering as an immigration attorney with nonprofit organizations in Seattle and California.
Is Julian Castro Suggesting We Amend U.S. Law to Open the Borders?

Is Julian Castro Suggesting We Amend U.S. Law to Open the Borders?

As anyone who watched or heard snippets of the first Democratic presidential debate likely knows, candidate Julián Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, proposed a repeal of the portion of U.S. law (8 U.S.C. § 1325) that makes it a crime to cross the border into the U.S. without authorization. People found guilty of a violation under § 1325 can currently be fined up to $5,000 (under the terms of 18 U.S.C. Section 3571) and/or sentenced to a maximum…

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White House Thinks Joining Family in the U.S. Is a “Random Chance” Path to a Green Card!?

White House Thinks Joining Family in the U.S. Is a “Random Chance” Path to a Green Card!?

The White House’s recent proposal for radically restructuring the U.S. immigration system is widely considered a non-starter, unlikely to draw Congressional interest, much less lead to legislation. Nevertheless, it has filled the public airwaves with generalizations about immigration law that are just plain wrong. (And they’re not getting any more correct for having been oft repeated.) I’m not talking about the philosophy behind the old or proposed new immigration policy, nor about what statistics indicate about the benefits of immigrants…

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Can Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Baby Get U.S. Citizenship?

Can Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Baby Get U.S. Citizenship?

Finally, some cheerful news related to U.S. immigration law! Yes, I’m among those getting distracted today by pictures of the British royal baby. But I’m also seeing a lot of misleading information in the press, which impels me to fix it. For starters, little Archie, also known as Baby Sussex, is a U.S. citizen already. (And of course he is also a British one, by virtue of his U.K. citizen father.) Under U.S. law, a concept known as “acquisition” of…

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U.S. Government Pulling the Blinds on Immigration Decision-Making

U.S. Government Pulling the Blinds on Immigration Decision-Making

No matter which direction you think U.S. immigration law and policy should be heading in, you probably hope that you—or at least journalists and others who follow this sort of thing—can obtain reliable information about it. Unfortunately, that’s less and less the case. Perhaps nothing exemplifies this issue more directly than a lawsuit recently filed by the American Immigration Council (AIC). It alleges that, in recent cases where applicants were following all legal procedures in requesting green cards or temporary…

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Class-Action Lawsuit Putting Pressure on Realtors to Lower Commissions

Class-Action Lawsuit Putting Pressure on Realtors to Lower Commissions

A real estate commission of around 5% to 6% has been the standard for so long that almost no one thinks about it anymore—until, that is, one is selling a home. Then, the joy of realizing that one’s home has appreciated in value and will sell at a tidy profit is often tempered by the realization that, “Hey, my agent is going to earn a heap of money, only because the real estate market is hot!” So it’s interesting news…

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